In her review of Project Runway 3 debut last Wednesday, The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan gave away the results of the challenge. She wrote, “Keith Michael … wins the first challenge with a dress that is elegant, engaging and wearable.”
That did not make Bravo or the show’s producers happy, and they’ve responded both directly to the paper and in an open letter to fans. The viewer letter is signed by an impressive list of Bravo dignitaries: Lauren Zalaznick, Bravo’s president; Harvey Weinstein, an executive producer; executive producers Jane Lipsitz, Dan Cutforth, and Rich Bye; and Tim Gunn.
They note that Steve Reiss, “the Deputy Assistant Managing Editor of the Washington Post’s Style section … took the position that including the winner of the challenge was not considered a ‘spoiler.’” It’s not quite as bad as revealing who went home, but considering the challenge winner was revealed in the final minutes of the show, it clearly is a spoiler.
The letter’s signatories call this “a serious breach of journalistic integrity,” which is a bit melodramatic, considering all of the actual meaningful, consequential breaches of journalistic integrity that people routinely ignore. And really, all we’re seeing is TV critics begin to get as lazy as film critics; instead of actually reviewing the work, they tell us about the plot, because that’s a lot easier.